What do I learn?

The Internet is probably one of the greatest technological achievements of the 21st century. It has become the de-facto data highway of the digital society whose starvation for bandwith and availability seems endless. Ubitiquious access to the highway attracts more and more "things" to connect to the Internet and lays the ground for novel and innovative applications. In order to exploit the enitre potential and be able to design future emerging applications it is of crucial importance to understand the techniques behind the Internet.

In this course you learn the fundamental ideas behind the design of the Internet. The take away message of the course is simple: You will understand why the Internet works so smoothly. To this end the course introduces some of the basic concepts, including

  • Design of Internet protocols: The ISO/OSI layer model
  • Applications over HTTP, FTP, SMTP, IMAP, DNS
  • Transport over TCP, UDP
  • Secure communication over TLS
  • Wireless communication over WIFI
  • Wired communication over Ethernet
  • Internet of Things protocols CoAP, MQTT, 6LowPAN 

Apart from availability and scalability, securing the Internet and the interconnected devices recently has received much attention. One of the greatest threats are cyberattacks which exploit weaknesses of Internet protocols to get access to networks linked to the Internet with devastating harm. Have you ever wondered why attacks are feasible? In the lab you will study the methods and techniques of cyberattackers. In fact, you are asked to attack some computer networks in the lab environment. Only if you get to know the tricks and strategies, you learn to introduce effective measures protecting your data, communication and services on the Internet.

What can I do with this knowledge?

Understanding the main Internet protocols is a prerequisite to take full advantage of emerging Internet applications such cloud computing or the Internet of Things. You will not only learn to choose the right Internet protocols for your applications, you will be keen to introduce the right measures in order to protect your applications from harm. You turn into a network security expert. The gained knowledge readily qualifies you for the role of a network administrator, information security manager or security consultant.

Rules of the Game

You are given weekly lab assignments. Your assignments will be graded. At the end of the course you write a final exam. You pass the course, if you

"managed 10-out-of-12 lab assignments" AND "scored at least 50% in the exam"

Recommended Books

Andrew Tanenbaum: Computer Networks (5th Edition)   Rolf Oppliger: Internet and Intranet Security (2nd Edition)


Online Courses

You may want to subscribe to Charles Severance's coursera course on Internet history, Technology and Security. He gives great supplementary information.

Research Papers

  • Roger Needham: Denial of service. ACM CCS, 1993
  • Franco Callegati, Walter Cerroni and Marco Ramilli: Man-in-the-Middle Attack to the HTTPS Protocol. IEEE Security & Privacy, 2009
  • Collin Jackson, Adam Barth, Andrew Bortz, Weidong Shao and Dan Boneh: Protecting Browsers from DNS Rebinding Attacks. ACM CCS, 2007
  • Moti Geva, Amir Herzberg and Yehoshua Gev: Bandwidth Distributed Denial of Service: Attacks and Defenses. IEEE Security & Privacy, 2014
  • Stuart E. Schechter, Rachna Dhamija, Andy Ozment and Ian Fischer: The Emperor's New Security Indicators. IEEE Security & Privacy, 2007